October 12, 2018—Where Everybody Belongs, a middle school orientation and transition program, welcomes sixth graders at Excelsior Springs Middle School. Staff designed the program to help students feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience. Built on the belief students can help students succeed, the program trains mentors from eighth grade to be WEB Leaders. As positive role models, WEB Leaders become mentors and student leaders. They guide the sixth graders to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to middle school and help facilitate success.
More and more studies show if students have a positive experience their first year in middle school, their chances for success increase dramatically. At ESMS, the WEB Leaders help our sixth graders to have a positive experience, not just through their sixth-grade year, but throughout their middle school career. Through this program, students learn people at school care about them and their success. The yearlong program also increases student achievement, enhance character development and helps promote an anti-bullying environment
ESMS has 43 WEB Leaders who mentor the small group sessions held every other Wednesday in the gym. The opposite Wednesday the Leaders train with the sponsors for the next week’s activity. Sixth grade teachers Kaitlin Hartman and Megan Rawie, seventh grader teacher Kate Baker, eighth grade teachers Katrina Ivan and Greg Broadbent and Kathy Travis, the school library media specialist serves as sponsors for the program. This year Scott Schwab and Darren McKown of Farmers Insurance and The Schwab Agency in Excelsior Springs helped sponsor the program. Schwab and McKown donated the WEB shirts that identify the leaders to the other students. Organizers said they appreciate the support. Thanks to the business and teacher sponsors, WEB got off to a great start!